Minnesota Basketball 2022-23 Preview: Jamison Battle

Minnesota Basketball 2022-23 Preview: Jamison Battle

(Photo: 247Sports)

Just about every Big Ten preview this fall is going to have Jamison Battle as a preseason All Big Ten player in some regard. Battle is one of the top returning scorers in the league and surely one of the best shooters in the Big Ten. Battle had a great sophomore year for Ben Johnsonso what is next for the 6’7 forward?

Battle was an all-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection as he led the team in scoring averaging 17.5 points per game (sixth in the Big Ten). Battle also led the team in rebounds per game (6.3) and had 27 double-figure scoring games including 11 games over 20. Battle had four double-double games and his career high was the 39 points he scored against Maryland.

Statistically Speaking

The Good. As we said, team highs in scoring at 17.5 points per game and in rebounding at 6.3 a contest. Battle played 36.7 minutes a game and despite being consistently chased and denied, Battle shot 45 percent from the floor and just under 37 percent from the arc. He’s a career 79 plus percent foul shooter and a career 36.5 percent three point shooter taking an average of 7.2 threes a game throughout his career (7.1 last season). As a combo forward Battle has been averaging 5.3 defensive rebounds for his career which is a pretty solid total considering the type of player that Battle is (not a person who spends a lot of time in the post). Despite moving from the Atlantic 10 level to the Big Ten level Jamison had career highs in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots a season ago. Battle has already played 2750 career minutes which is a ton. He’s been very durable throughout his three year career.

The Not so Good. We just spoke of minutes played and when you play nearly 37 minutes a contest at the high major level you can get worn. Especially with all of the load that Battle shouldered last year as a scorer. His free throw percentage dropped from 79 percent to 76 percent last year, his overall field goal percentage dropped from 47.5 to 45 percent, and Battles ability to finish in the paint fell from 59 percent as a sophomore at GWU to 53 percent as a junior at Minnesota. Obviously these are different levels of play but it would be a goal for Battle to at least get back to where he was at his peak in the A10 when it comes to finishing in all areas. Battle was still a finisher, we just think it can be even better!

Focus on 22-23

Between Battle and Dawson Garcia I think Minnesota has two of the best ten players in the Big Ten. When preseason teams are made public (Lindy’s is already out and has Battle as second team all Big Ten preseason) I believe you will see Battle honored where I think media members will hold Dawson’s final six games at UNC against him in a big way (which I think is unfair). Jamison is in incredible shape and is very likely to be playing a lot of small forward this year at his size and weight. This will allow the offense to spread the court even more and with Garcia around and a passer like Talon Cooper feeding everybody, Battle should be able to shoot in a lot more comfortable ways this year as opposed to last season. And with more space you can only imagine Jamison being even more dangerous.

Battle’s ability to use a screen to get a small window and take advantage of it is high level. His ability to get hot and use that incredible stroke is close to Voshon Lenard level for me. He’s good at moving off of screens, Jamison’s ability to use the dribble to separate for a jumper or use the dribble to attack has improved every year and with Battle being in incredible shape compared to the past this will only get better. He’s a good passer, solid rebounder for a small forward, and his defense drastically improved last year.

Jamison Battle has first team All Big Ten potential and if he doesn’t hit second team All Big Ten this year I would be surprised. He has special offensive talent and works as hard as anybody out there.

The Stat Line

At 17.5 points per game and with what should be a more balanced offense I don’t know that Battle will explode too much more in terms of points per game but I think he can add a bucket. We could see close to 19 a game or just after 19 a game. As a small forward playing with Garcia and a big I would expect that six boards a game to stay about the same. With more weapons around him this year, with a PG that is pass first focused, and with another year of work, I expect Battle to shoot about 49 percent from the floor, 38-39 percent at the arc, and 80 percent at the foul line.

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